Remember the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO? It had 365 horsepower and reached 60 mph in 5.2 seconds (which, we noted, was quicker than the contemporary Audi S6 with its Lamborghini V-10) but used the same tiny brakes as any other Taurus. It was kind of a mess. Even the all-wheel-drive system wasn’t up to the task, often fragging the undersized power transfer unit that sent power to the rear (they upgraded that later, at least). My 2010 Lincoln MKT EcoBoost, sharing the same basic components, destroyed the rear half of its drivetrain. These are the problems that arise when you’ve got a swole engine in a dadbod car.
In the Q60’s case, the result is perhaps 75 percent of the GT-R’s performance, with twice the comfort for half the price. No, it’s not a hardcore sports car. But if you happen to run into a JDM GT-R out on a back road—as I inexplicably did—it can hang. Sure, that was a much older car. But the bloodline was there: six cylinders, turbocharged, all-wheel drive. After a full-throttle blast down a straight, I pulled over and let him pass. Away from the next stop sign, I listened as he ran up through the gears, the violent induction noise commingling with the rip of the exhaust. The Red Sport 400 doesn’t sound much different. It’s not so savage, but you know it belongs to the same family tree. And it can also relax in a way that the GT-R simply never does. It’s the GT, without the R.
That might bum you out, but at least you know Infiniti made a conscious decision to draw the line right here, and that decision was informed by their experience with the Eau Rouge. Which, you’ll notice, is not in production. But the name is still out there, waiting for the car to do it justice.